Review: Baldi edges closer to Esports WTCR OSCARO title as M1RA team wins twice
Gergo Baldi’s third win of the Esports WTCR OSCARO Multiplayer Championship season and Zoltan Csuti’s first-ever triumph capped a strong Macau race night on RaceRoom for the M1RA team and its Hungarian drivers.
Baldi’s success hands him a 71-point advantage over defending champion, the Slovakia-based Hungarian Bence Bánki (SDL eSports by Logitech G / Honda) with just the Sepang closing round remaining.
Although the Macau results remain provisional depending the outcome of the usual judicial processes, Baldi, Bánki and Germany’s Florian Hasse are all but assured a place in the live final in Malaysia on 14 December.
Qualifying recap: Baldi beats Bánki to pole
After Spain’s Nestor Garcia (Red Bull Racing Esports / Audi) set the initial pace, it was Benci Bánki and Gergo Baldi who battled it out for pole, with Baldi just doing enough to start at the front for Race One. Garcia lined up third ahead of Hungarian David Nagy (M1RA Esports / Hyundai) and Pole Kuba Brzezinski (Williams Esports / CUPRA), with Germany’s Alexander Dornieden (FA Racing Esports / Lynk & Co) only P11 and Julian Kunze down in P17. Real-life Comtoyou Team Audi Sport WTCR / OSCARO driver qualified P22 as Tim Jarschel (EURONICS Gaming / CUPRA) prepared to start at the back following a grid penalty.
Race One recap: Banki settles for second behind Baldi
Gergo Baldi made full use of his pole position to lead as Germany’s Tim Jarschel, Macau simracer Avelino Jose Alves and Corentin Pointeau all picked up damage, while Macanese Lei Sabino lost connection to the server.
But while the start had been relatively calm, there was drama further back when Alves and Márk Balazsin made contact and blocked the track. Despite momentarily ending up on the roof of Pointeau’s car Jarschel was able to continue.
Nagy’s pass on Garcia when the Spaniard brushed the wall at Fisherman’s Bend followed, while Zoltan Csuti (M1RA Esports / Hyundai) and Alexander Dornieden battled it out for P10.
On lap three, Csuti got into a slide through Mandarin, and while the Hungarian regained control, Dornieden made contact with the German spinning then recovering only to go off at Lisboa, the next corner. Damage fears meant he retired, but there were no such problems for Langeveld who was up to P14 from P22 on the grid.
While the positions out front remained the same, Poland’s Nikodem Wisniewski and Jaroslav Honzik (Actrollvision / Hyundai) were battling it out for P8 and changing positions frequently.
Csuti was now having to contend with young German and Suzuka winner Michael Raechl (EURONICS Gaming / CUPRA), with Moritz Löhner (Williams Esports / Audi) and Julian Kunze behind.
Although Bánki was fastest through the infield section, he was unable to overtake Baldi for the win, settling instead for second with Nagy, Garcia and Brzezinski completing the top five. Jack Keithley finished sixth ahead of Florian Hasse, with Wisniewski, Honzik and Csuti rounding out the top 10. Raechl lost two places on the final lap to Löhner and Kunze and finished just ahead of Niels Langeveld in P13.
Race Two recap: Action all the way as Cuti takes maiden win
Zoltan Csuti’s reward for placing P10 in Race One was pole position for Race 2. But although he didn’t falter, his M1RA Esports team-mate David Nagy had to retire with technical issues.
And there was more drama further back when Diner, Dencs, Lopez, Pereira and Pointeau collided at Mandarin, while Tim Jarschel was the first frontrunner to retire when he hit the barriers at Lisboa on lap two.
The race was turned upside down on lap three when Honzik clipped the barriers at Mandarin and was collected by Wisniewski, Bánki and Garcia. The latter three all picked up damage, while Jaroslaw Honzik somehow continued, albeit well down the order.
Meanwhile, Csuti was leading ahead of Keithley and Hasse, while Baldi was in prime position to boost his championship lead in P4. Garcia, Wisniewski and Bánki tried to salvage as many points as possible during the remainder of the race, but there was more drama when Bánki had to pit for repairs and dropped out of the top 20.
At the front of the field though, no one could stop Csuti. The Hungarian took his first win in Esports WTCR OSCARO, ahead of Keithley, Hasse, Baldi and Brzezinski. Jaroslav Honzik brought his Hyundai home in seventh, followed by Löhner, Kunze, Raechl and Krisztián Juhász (Nice Gaming – N6 / Lynk & Co), who got his best result of the year. Dornieden was P13, Wisniewski P17, Garcia P20 and Bánki P22, one place behind Niels Langeveld.
Server 2: Pinczes and Tang share the laurels
Adam Pinczes (Williams Esports / CUPRA) delivered a dominant performance in the first Server 2 counter, before Carson Tang (Wako’s Fliptable Racing / Audi) took a home victory in the second race after a stunning pass on Ivan Hruška (Onlineracing.EU / Lynk & Co).
Asia/Oceania update: Maulana on course
The Asia/Oceania qualifier races were won by Indonesia’s Andika Rama Maulana (GT-Sim.ID eSport / Honda) and Hong Kong’s Scott Li (HMSRT / Alfa Romeo). Maulana is now 66 points clear of his closest rival Lei Sabino (Macau e-Motorsports / CUPRA) and looks likely to secure his ticket for the live Malaysia final through the Asia/Oceania route.
How the Esports WTCR OSCARO title fight stands?
Bald’s advantage over Bánki is 71 points with Florian Hasse 11 behind Bánki, the trio on the verge of receiving their travel and accommodation to contest the live Malaysia final. Brzezinski, Wisniewski, Keithley and Löhner are looking good for the big Sepang showdown on 14 December too, while Julian Kunze holds the final provisional qualifying spot in eighth, just five points ahead of Dornieden, the 2017 Esports WTCC champion, and 12 ahead of Nagy.
Watch the action again from Macau
Follow this link to watch the action from Macau: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLYxolReNyo
The Esports WTCR OSCARO Multiplayer Championship will be decided at a virtual Sepang International Circuit on Sunday 20 October.